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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Us 10, Clinton 8, Bill Clinton 8, Obama 8, America 6, Scott Walker 4, Andrew Sullivan 4, New York 4, Joe Klein 4, Ronald Reagan 3, Victoria 3, Ari 3, Howard Fineman 3, Iraq 3, Ohio 2, Joe Biden 2, Seattle 2, Sullivan 2, Wilson 2, John Heilemann 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    September 25, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PDT  

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this election people are going to be turned away from the polls, they're going to be sending in pictures, blogging. this i think is, this election is going to be really representative of the people and the issues that we care about. >> we are way into overtime. rosario dawson gets the the no-nothings. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with the bone-headed poll numbers just in. i'm not talking about the arithmetic. i'm talking about what it says about some voters out there, especially on the right. catch this. a third of conservative republicans are convinced that the president is a muslim.
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a third. less than half believe in global warming. only 2 out of 5 in ohio, for example, believed he was born in the u.s. the rest are to one degree or the other birthers. and just to make you feel a little better about that and let you know how low information these voters are on the right, catch this. two-thirds of republicans say there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq when our troops got there in 2003. do they have amnesia? have they been buried in their basements the last nine years? what explains this many people being so out to lunch they don't even remember how "w," remember him, he was president, blew his whole reason for sending our troops in there in the first place. how can people be so helpless. anyway, this may explain why romney is in trouble because people out there think his party is out of it. joining me is howard fineman and joe klein of the times. let's take a look at the two polls. the two key states ohio and florida. according to "the washington post," president obama has a four-point lead over mitt romney in florida. four points down there in a very
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tough state. 51%,/47% for obama. in ohio, the president's lead is a more comfortable eight points. 52/44. that's dramatic. we have joining us -- let's take a look at that for a minute. howard fineman, thank you for joining us, and joe klein of "time" magazine. thank you. it strikes me the numbers i put out tonight, and i'm going to get all through them, shows a party obliterated to reality. she don't seem to watch the news. don't seem to know the huge fight that went on when we realized there was no weapons of mass destruction in iraq. that was the whole reality we lived in, the disillusionment on the right, the confusion in the middle, the anger on the left. they didn't even experience that period of time? >> well, chris, to put a charitably, i think the republican party today is the nostalgia party. that was my sense of it having kind of marinated in their world view down in tampa at the republican convention. they think of a simpler world, a world where the verities they believe in still apply in simple
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terms. the fact is it's a complex world. if you just run against government, if the whole thing is i don't want government, i don't believe in government, then you aren't going to participate in the reality of economic life for one in america today. they're the nostalgia party. they would like to believe that the military was correct, that dick cheney was correct about weapons of mass destruction. they would prefer to believe in that -- >> but what evidence do they have that we were right about iraq and wmd? >> they don't. what i'm saying is they want to will themselves into believing authority figures who used to be respected around the country and who no longer are. joe klein, thank you for joining us. sometimes we can simply disagree by looking at the same picture. we can say, that's not true, that is true. when you look at something so demonstrably true, we didn't find weapons of mass destruction when we got to iraq, which con founded people, who supported the war. fair enough, they got it wrong. people in the middle say, these guys don't know what they're talking about. people on the left said, we never thought that was the reason for the war in the first place. but to not know it.
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what do you make of these numbers? democrats in this new poll, 63% say there was no weapons of mass destruction. 15% say there were. okay. 1 out of 6 democrats think there might have been. republicans however, 63% of republicans say, yes, there were weapons of mass destruction, almost two-thirds. how do we account for this misstatement of fact? >> well, i think this is a tribute to the persuasive powers of rush limbaugh and fox news and the drudge report and the rest of that echo chamber. you don't hear rush talking about weapons of mass destruction anymore, and i saw this pie chart on andrew sullivan's blog today, something like 93% of the mentions of global warming on fox news knock it down as a real phenomenon. so when you have people living in this hermetically sealed world that does not resemble reality, they wind up believing
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some very weird things. >> well, when the queen mary starts making regular trips across the polar ice cap because there's no more polar ice cap, do you think they might notice? has anybody seen the pictures of greenland the other day? there's no snow. >> i agree with joe. i agree that, number one, the republicans are the nostalgia party. they're the simplicity party. they're the -- >> are they luddites, anti-science? >> i think if they're convinced, as many of them are, that science is being used as a conspiracy to take away their freedom and take away their independence -- >> i saw that movie, it's called "planet of the apes" and it wasn't a comedy. >> as i'm sure joe and i listen to -- we watch fox, we listen because have you to cover the whole spectrum as a reporter, that's the -- that's the message that you get. that the scientists and the bureaucrats are combining to rob us of our freedom. >> so it's basically a fear, it's a fear of everything. take a look at this number though.
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the infamous birther question. was the president born in the united states? under our constitution he has to be born here to be president. ohio republican primary voters, people who voted already this year, 37% don't think barack obama was born here. just 2 in 5 say the president was american born and, therefore, a legitimate president. when you ask the president's religion, this gets scary. a majority of all voters don't take him at his word. just 49%. this is all voters, say he's a christian, which is what he says he is. and 30% of republicans and 34% of conservative republicans say obama is a muslim. simple as that. now, here's the point, these bad numbers, saying it twice wrong, these 34%, they're twice what they were four years ago. when he came in people took him at face value. this guy is what he says he is. i'm american born, obviously. i got a whole history, it was announced when i was born in honolulu, in all the papers there, and i am what i am, a christian. i go to this church that caused him a lot of trouble. do we remember that? he went to a church, jeremiah wright's church that got him in all the trouble.
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so why have we changed from that, anger about his church with wright and acceptance of an american to this -- they're all becoming donald trumps, mini trumps. >> my explanation for it is fear. my explanation is it's not based on a study of genealogical history or -- it's fear. and among a certain part of this population, this country, which you showed there on the charts, they think that president obama is on a mission to rob the american people of their freedom. >> that's why he killed bin laden. >> yes. >> that's why he's almost destroyed now al qaeda, which he said he would do. >> i'm just saying that's their world view, and the fear expresses itself in the idea that this man must be someone else. he must be another. he must be a hidden person. he must have an agenda that's hidden for some reason.
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>> among the agenda items, joe, i want to point out some things republicans are watching, and a good number do. i just want to point out a couple things. your stock market, 401(k) has doubled. not because of obama, but he certainly didn't get in the way of it doubling. he didn't have some plan to bring down wall street. it's over 13,500 now. it was 6,500 when he got in there. these are realities. this should have some role in people's reality. >> the housing market is coming back. consumer debt levels are at all-time lows but i agree with howard. what do you hear most often from these people? we want our america back. well, the america that they're living in now is increasingly minority and it's all these different kind of people, you know, the mini marts are -- the cliche is every mini mart is run by a south asian. there are all these latinos around and they look at -- >> mini markets, actually. i would say the new arrivals in our country are very good at working 24/7 and stocking their store with great, fresh produce that's very healthy for people, in many cases. >> the south asians and the koreans, the east asians have been model american immigrants. they're terrific. they -- >> i don't think they have a crime factor at all in most cases. >> these people look at their grandchildren and see them
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dating people of different races and then they see them becoming gay, some of them, and then they look at the president of the united states, who doesn't have the good sense to be either black or white and his middle name is hussein, qed, he's a muslim. >> i like the way you phrased it, becoming gay. i'm not sure of the choice. that came up with trent lott, i think. >> but the point -- >> announcing they are gay. >> right. >> joe's point is it's a more complicated world than it was. demographically in terms of all the different ethnic groups, in new york city i think there are 140 or 150 languages spoken in the schools. at the republican convention that was opie and andy griffith and that was a wonderful thing on tv even though it wasn't real at the time either, and that -- i don't mean to -- it sounds condescending, i'm not trying to be that way. i wish life were simpler. >> the fear is legitimate. >> yeah, i wish -- >> the fear is real. >> we loved the '50s. >> but we're not -- >> a lot of people had no reason
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to love the 'fifty, the civil rights bills and, you couldn't go to a -- you couldn't do it on route 40. let me bring this up. it seems like joe biden is a familiar figure 60 years ago. barack obama, of course, has an exotic name, an african name. he's not an unusual fellow. he seems like a person you would hang out with, play golf with. these aren't strange personalities. leon panetta is the most common, regular -- someone you would have met 100 years ago. are the democratic party, the new age that they scare people? i just don't see that myself. maybe i'm part of that reality. i don't see them as strange at all. >> chris, it goes back to the propaganda factor. it's not just that rush and fox and those guys say something, it's that we say the other thing. if we say that barack obama
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isn't a muslim, that must not be true because we're the liberal media, we're the mainstream media, and nothing we can say -- we say can be trusted. >> i have called an anti-posture for years. just saying no to everything. thank you, guys. i think you nailed it. it's psychological. anyway, howard fineman and joe klein, thank you. coming up, could barack obama be the democrat's ronald rag? yes, says andrew sullivan. he has a chance to transform american politics. the first thing he has to do is win. >> world leaders seek his guidance. they don't dare reject his invitations. bill clinton has become president of the world and today mitt romney and president obama spoke at the clinton global initiative. more importantly, he knows who he wants to win. obama this time. hillary next time. what could make wisconsin governor scott walker become pro-u.n.? >> the packers play it at the goal line as wilson scrambles to keep it alive. the game's final play, a wilson loft to the end zone. which is fumbled by tate with
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jennings simultaneous. who has it? who do they give it to? touchdown! >> well, one result of that, the anti-union pro-packers governor of wisconsin scott walker wants the union refs back on the field after the substitute refs gave the catch in that game last night to seattle. let me finish with this republican plan. to keep blacks from voting. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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take a look this head-scratcher of a poll number from the new cnbc poll. 55% say the economy is worse. just 22% say it's better.
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yet when asked which candidate is better for the economy, 43% say president obama. 34%, only 34%, say mitt romney. put that together, those sets of numbers.
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welcome back to "hardball." with just six weeks to go to the election and recent gains in swing states by president obama, democrats are allowing themselves to begin thinking about what a second obama presidential term would be like. what it would look like. latest issue of "newsweek" the cover story is written by andrew sullivan who argues that with a second term president obama could become a transformative president. in fact, among the nation's great presidents. here is something sure to gall republicans, he says president obama could become the democrats' ronald reagan. sullivan writes, quote, he will emerge as an iconic figure who struggled through a recession and terrorized world. reshaping the economy within it, passing universal health care, strafing the ranks of al qaeda, presiding over a civil rights
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revolution, and then enjoying the fruits of the recovery. with me now is "newsweek's" andrew sullivan, also editor of "the dish" and also joining me is ari melber, a correspondent for "the nation." gentlemen, thank you. our main focus is on you and your big brain, andrew, my friend, because it's hard for me to figure out what "newsweek" has been doing the last few months because every front cover is different from the other one. one trashes obama. this one brilliantly i think celebrates the potential of a certain election result. give me your sense, how you got into this idea of even thinking about the next four years given all our focus here at "hardball" and elsewhere on what's going to happen in six weeks. >> because he, the president, has been thinking about it for four years already, and if you have watched him carefully, you have seen he's always played a long game, and part of that long game was always re-election. most presidents deal with the middle east in the last two years. he started his first go. he inherited the worst recession
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but he pushed through health care reform at the very beginning. he knew these things would take time, and so he set it up in a way to enable the big payoff to come later, which is a high-risk/high-reward strategy. on the debt, of course, the republicans went nuts and prevented him from getting a sensible grand bargain on this, but, again, he set up the debt ceiling fiasco so we have sequestration coming down december 31st and the end of the bush tax cuts if nothing happens. and even jim demint has now conceded that if obama wins, then they will have to give on taxes. once the republicans give on taxes, we could have the grand bargain if, if, i think, obama wins with a big enough margin. >> let's get to that quote by senator de demint, very conservative senator from south carolina. we're not going to save our defense unless we go along with the president's wishes to raise taxes on small business.
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it's not a good choice. i would never support it, but there are enough republicans i think who are so afraid of defense cuts that they would probably give in. let me go to ari. thanks for joining us, ari. my sense is as well as andrew has laid this out, how obama is this visionary and can think three or four years ahead, he must have also counted on an economic recovery kicking in with a lot more steam than we've had which jeopardizes getting to that second term. we have an 8%-plus unemployment rate that looks like it's going to be facing us in the face the day people vote. >> i think that's right. they had hoped the economy would rebound more. they inherited a 750 million per month loss rate and have improved a lot from that as andrew documents in the piece, but they have a longer ways to go. i think the other interesting comparison to ronald reagan is there's two ronald reagans. there was the ronald reagan who worked with democrats, who made
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tax reform a priority will you also raised taxes, who signed the federal law that requires that hospitals have to treat poor people when they come into the e.r. ronald reagan worked across the aisle on a lot of things and then there's the ronald reagan we hear about only in the gop primary debates, a conserve ty ideologue at every turn. if you talk about the first reagan, obama has tried to follow that path, but he's had less cooperation on offer from the congress. he didn't -- >> chris, can i make two points about that. >> he didn't want to keep -- >> sorry. that reagan ended his first term with a higher misery index than obama currently has. reagan's recession was also a fairly induced recession in order to wring inflation out of the economy, and it happened and began on his watch. obama inherited a financial collapse recession which of their nature lasts longer, and it happened before he got there. i think that helps explain the difference.
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if you look at the gallup poll of approval of reagan and obama, you will see they're the closest of any two presidents in the last 50 years except that reagan sank lower in his first term than obama ever did. he went down to 35%. and obama's highs are less high. so it's still a struggle, i agree, but i think what obama has been able to do is say, look, i'm not giving you sugar high morning in america. i'm telling you, we're gritty, back to the basics, rebuilding america, and i know it's tough, but that is finally a different kind of message. people realize that reagan's recovery was the sugar high, and we still had to deal with its debt. >> well, the question i have -- first of all, i'm not sure you're right because paul volcker was appointed fed chair by jimmy carter and he began squeezing the money supply under carter, i know about it, i was there. >> but the recession started in '81.
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>> you call the misery index. obviously, the strongest element in the misery index right now is the unemployment rate, up around 8.3. inflation doesn't help getting rid of it politically if it isn't around. nobody gives you credit for not having inflation. they give you anger if you have -- >> but let me remind you, every right wing economist was suggesting hyperinflation by now because of our debt. we have a problem of deflation. but i'm just saying, if -- people don't accept that but they accept he's done the best he can. and what's interesting in the polls is that they know it's tough, but they think he's got the better plan to fix it. >> let's talk about the two things we argue about on this show. let's start with immigration. how do you get through a really good immigration bill that has both progressivity in terms of letting people come in the country, recognizing who is already in the country, allowing people to come in on shorter periods of time with work permits. how do you put it all on paper and stop the under the table stuff? can he do that with a team that really enforces it? >> you do it the way reagan did it. you get both parties together and you figure it out. and you do it in the congress. and the reason we haven't done it is because the republicans have blocked it.
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and that's the other thing. if republicans lose the latino vote this time by the kind of margins the polls are showing, there are many people in the republican party, karl rove chief among them, jeb bush chief among them, who understands if they alienate this constituency permanently they're headed for minority status forever, a regional minority white party. and they need latinos. so i think there's enough of a group of people, especially in the senate, and possibly even in the house, to actually move immigration forward, and i think obama should make it the first priority. >> i'd like to see some teeth involved with it because they did simpson and the teeth fell out. let me ask you, ari, about this deal. are you confident as andrew is that there can be some big deal on spending and revenues that the republicans will come to the table -- they'll belly up and say, damn it, obama won twice in a row, we have to deal with him or will they go to the right
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having lost a lot of moderates in the next election perhaps, this election coming up, and say, no, we're going to continue with the scorched earth policy of bringing this guy down. if we can't keep him from being elected a couple times, we're still going to destroy his legacy. which way do you see it going in the next four years if he gets in again? >> i think it depends on the margin. i think if it's considered on the right a narrow re-election for the president, if we postulate that hypothetical, then they say, well, the only problem was paul ryan should have been first on the ticket, should have been more conservative, and you know that argument. i think if it's a blowout and these are all ifs, you have a goldwater-type reassessment, then, yes, a, you have a desire to manufacture, and, b, you have new people in the party like a ted cruz that the president can go out and talk to and say let's be reasonable. you're a tea party guy, but let's do something that people like your parents can have a path to citizenship and -- >> that's a good idea. i'm for that. thank you, gentlemen. andrew sullivan, amazing piece. i will read it several times. >> thank you. >> ari melber, thank you. up next, it took a wild ending to last night's packers/seahawks game to get wisconsin governor scott walker to finally side with union workers.
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that's next in the "sideshow."
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visit progressive.com today. back to "hardball." a lot of buzz about that refs' call in last night's game between the packers and the seahawks. >> final play. wilson lob to the end zone. which is fumbled by tate with jennings simultaneous. who was it? who did they give it to? touchdown! >> well, you saw two different calls by the ref. one interception, one touchdown. quite a lot of outrage from people who say the replacement refs should have called that an interception, not the touchdown that won the game for seattle. the replacement refs are filling in during the labor dispute. between the nfl and regular refs.
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the onslaught of calls to get the permanent guys back on the field is growing after last night, of course, even from the political people. president obama said earlier today he wants the permanent refs to come back, but a few nuggets from the gop as well. wisconsin governor scott walker, no friend of labor, tweeted, quote, after catching a few hours of sleep, the packers game is still just as painful, with the hash tag return the real refs. paul ryan, also a wisconsinite and a packers fan, agreed. >> i mean, give me a break. it is time to get the real refs, and you know what? it reminds me of president obama and the economy. if you can't get it right, it's time to get out. i half think that these refs work part time for the obama administration and the budget office. they see a debt crisis and they just ignore and pretend it didn't even happen. they're trying to pick the winners and losers, and they don't even do that very well. >> what a cheap exploitation of something people really care about. anyway, why are the anti-union guys like walker and ryan trying to get the unionized -- see the irony, refs back on the field?
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what bad speech writing. by the way, he was reading it off the lectern. he couldn't even remember it. next, the story of chris christie and a reporter. the first one of the season anyway. at an event yesterday one reporter pressed christie on his state's full foreclosure laws, its policies. you know what came up next? >> do you have a follow-up question? >> who are you, by the way? >> jim. >> from where? >> channel 7. >> my follow-up would be, i'm not sure that rings true. >> next question. >> this is an urgent -- >> next question. >> why would you blow it off? >> please. >> why would you brush it off? >> do me a favor, don't show up once in every blue moon and think you're going to dominate my press conference. >> i'm not. >> thank you very much. >> your agency -- >> at that same event christie downplayed the effect of comments 47% comments caught on camera, racking it up to a bad week for romney but conceding the governor that if the election were tomorrow, that
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would be a problem. he said that one straight. flashback to 1960. this ad hit the airwaves during kennedy's face-off with nixon. ♪ kennedy kennedy kennedy kennedy ♪ ♪ do you want a man for president who is seasoned through and through ♪ ♪ but not so dog gone seasoned that he won't try something new ♪ ♪ a man who's old enough to know and young enough to do ♪ ♪ well it's up to you it's up to you it's strictly up to you ♪ >> don't have ads like that these days. the 2012 obama version has arrived thanks to a website called write me a jingle. ♪ do you want a man for president who's seasoned through and through ♪ ♪ but not so doggone seasoned he won't try something new ♪ ♪ a man who's old enough to know but young enough to do ♪ ♪ it's up to you, it's up to you ♪ ♪ it's strictly up to you
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barack obama obama ♪ >> tough not to feel refreshed by politics after that one. has anybody been as big a player in the presidential campaign than mr. bill clinton, bubba? well, both president obama and mitt romney spoke at the clinton global initiative up in new york today and that's ahead. they're all genuflecting to the big guy, elvis. he's back. watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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welcome back to "hardball." one thing came through loud and clear today at the clinton global initiative up in new york, bill clinton is the man to see. he's so influential mitt romney took time away from the campaign trail to attend the meeting up there today. president obama, too, praised the former president. let's listen to president obama. >> i am grateful for your friendship and your extraordinary leadership, and i think i speak for the entire country when we say that you
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continue to be a great treasure for all of us. >> so what will the power of bill clinton mean for the 2012 election looking ahead for six weeks and beyond? john heilemann is new york magazine national affairs editor and an msnbc contributor. and i must give you congratulations, john. i was out there with you, you and mark halperin wrote the book that picked up four, count them, four emmys this weekend, this sunday night. we all watched. it must be amazing to be part of a show that included that first hour or so of that show and then it got intellectual when you got up there. i thought it was pretty impressive. congratulations. it's all part of television. susan page, thank you. i'm sure you'll get your emmy some day for front page reporting with "usa today." let me ask you about a game-changing situation. i know you don't want to give away your next book.
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it seems bill clinton's speech in charlotte not only changed the political sort of feel but people began to feel coming out of that according to some polling i have seen feeling better about the economy objectively. >> yes. >> tell me about that. the way you look at that. >> i think hugely important that speech, chris, i think in a way even conservatives have acknowledged the speech was kind of a game-changing moment in the election. he did two different things. i mean, he really did lay out the choice with incredible clarity. he laid out the argument for the fact that it really refuted in a very powerful, concrete way and answered the question that the obama campaign was having trouble answering, which was are you better off now than you were four years ago? he said, yes, you are, emphatically, and let me show you why. that was huge. there's a lot of polling that suggested that the bunch that president obama got out of the convention was almost all due to bill clinton. you now see him almost like a running mate if you look at the obama ads. you see obama ads across the country, president clinton is in almost all of the ones that are running heavily in the swing states right now.
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and they run -- the video runs back to back at the end of the ads. you see president clinton speaking, president obama speaking. it's almost as if they are running mates. that's how powerful the obama complain thinks bill clinton is as a kind of champion of the notion that in fact things are on the right track. >> susan, i want to you look at a short bite from the great "daily show" which won its tenth emmy, i think, the other night. here is jon stewart and he talked about -- it was an understated reference to clinton tour de force in charlotte. looelgts let's watch, very quick. >> so, give any good speeches lately or -- >> susan, that is now so well known that that speech was so good that all stewart, who's brilliant at this, just teases that. >> you know, it's really remarkable. remember, these are two men, barack obama and bill clinton, who, you know, have a history and not a good one. they have a history as being rivals, some bitterness from the primary battle four years ago, and yet if president obama wins a second term, some of the credit is going to go to bill clinton. and you saw in the interview that president obama did with "60 minutes" on sunday, he said,
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here's a quality i admire in presidents i have studied who are successful, persistence, it's an underrated virtue. who do you think he was talking about? there's no person in public life who has been more persistent than bill clinton in getting knocked down and getting right back up. >> and that is the key. oliver wendell holmes said you can't change everything in your life, but you can have a big heart, you can keep trying. anyway, on cbs "face the nation" this sunday bill clinton was noncommittal in his way if hillary clinton will run in 2016. we can always read this guy. he left no doubt that he thinks she's in the right job now and, of course, we know what he's thinking about the future. let's watch him in action. >> i just don't know. she's an extraordinarily able person. i never met anybody i thought was a better public servant, but i have no earthly idea what she'll decide to do.
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>> you know he's really good at that. john, i just -- i find him so fascinating to watch. just to listen to him and his iq must be in the 200 range and he's there saying what he knows he has to say, don't speak for her, she's an autonomous figure, happened to be married to him, but she's a politician in her own right. don't preclude anything she does but i thought it was very much a cheerful message about her. >> well, look, president clinton clearly wants his wife to run in 2016. i don't think there's any doubt about that. i spent the day at cgi and there's a lot of the old clinton network around that operation. you talk to those folks, there's a lot of people who want her to run. they don't have any doubt that president clinton wants her to run, that he thinks she would be a great president, he thinks she's been a great secretary of state. i think president clinton is actually speak the truth when he says he doesn't know what she's going to do. i think she has made a very conscious decision, even with the people closest around her, to say i'm not talking about that right now, i'm not thinking about that now. i want to finish this job. i want to take some time off.
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i think the question becomes a year from now when she's ahead of every democrat in every poll by 50 points and she's seen as being the only one who can raise the kind of money you would need to be able to run, whether she if she decides to get in, she clears the field with anyone else. i don't see any other democrat in any position to take her on. >> speaking from my native state, pennsylvania, she'd win with 70% against anybody. let's take a look at her speech today because i think at the global initiative i think she's trying to do very subtly a little help to the president. here she is talking away about i imbalance of power and the wealthy and elite, how they don't carry their weight around the world, in a way that's very supportive of what the president has been saying about tax fairness. >> one of the issues that i have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country. you know, i'm out of american politics, but it is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money. there are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not
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contribute to the growth of their own countries. >> so, susan, was she talking about argentina, borneo, or the good old u.s. of a? i think she was doing some home consumption there. >> that doesn't seem like such a subtle message to me. that seems clear. i assume hillary clinton runs in four years because why shouldn't she? any man in that situation would be running. joe biden is talking about running, and, you know, here is a change from four years ago. four years ago when she ran we thought of bill clinton as a mixed blessing, a guy who carried some baggage. what do we think we'll think about him in four years? it seems to me he's going to be probably a total asset for her if and when she decides to make another bid. >> we'll see. you know, he's always the comeback kid and he always has to be. so maybe he's made his final comeback. it's an awful big one.
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you're right, susan, but you never know. john heilemann, susan page, thank you both. up next, today is national voter registration day. couldn't be more important given all this voter suppression out there. let's find out how the democrats are fighting back against that republican effort in so many states, 17 of them suppress the minority vote. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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we're exactly six weeks out from the election right now. today nate silver of the "new york times" crunched the numbers to see what the polls tell us about which way this race is
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headed. here's what he found. since 1936 of the 19 presidential candidates who led in the polls at this point in the campaign, 18 of the 19 won the popular vote, 17 won the electoral college. the exceptions, tom dewey and poor al gore back in 2000. if you eliminate the candidates with double digit leads at this point, the front-runner's record is 8 wins out of 10. a winning percentage of 80%. so where they stand now is very important. we'll be right back.
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we cannot let anyone discourage us from casting our ballots. we cannot let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. it is up to us to make sure that in every election every voice is heard and every vote is counted. that means making sure our laws preserve that right.
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>> wow. welcome back to "hardball." that was michelle obama speaking at the congressional black caucus this saturday night. she was referring to the concerted effort since 2010, of course, to make it more difficult to vote, especially minorities. this map shows the 17 states where laws have been passed since then making it tougher to vote now than it was in the last -- harder than the last election. so this year it's even more important that everyone who is eligible to vote i think get registered to vote and fight for that right to vote. today is national voter registration day in this country. it's a two-pronged effort to get people registered and make sure people know what sorts of documentation they need to vote on election day or earlier. marc morial is the president of the urban league and sponsored the national voter registration day itself. victoria defrancesco soto is an nbc latino contributor. i want to talk, marc, thank you so much for coming on. here is your chance to make the case to people who might be disillusioned or discouraged
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because they've heard about all the suppression out there, attempt to suppress, especially minority votes. let's be honest. >> let's not be discouraged. let's not be pushed back, even though there's been a tremendous effort to make it more difficult for people to vote. we want to encourage people to register and we want to encourage people who believe they are registered to check their registration, make sure they know what those requirements are. while 17 states have passed laws, chris, there were proposals in 41 states. and of 17 states where laws have been passed, we waged a vigorous effort to stop those laws in their tracks. this is about democracy and this is about the right to vote. we shouldn't make it more difficult. we should make it simple and clear and plain for people to be able to register and participate in democracy. >> victoria, let's talk about latino and latino vote and the feelings they have as minorities facing this onslaught of new days, new dates, closed doors, closed windows to voting.
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>> it's a steep hurdle for millions of people. let's take for example the photo i.d. laws. 60% of latinos do not have the requisite documents to vote with a photo i.d., compare that to 6% of nonlatino whites. >> naturalized, born here but they -- >> absolutely. >> what reason would they have for not having it, a photo i.d. card? >> first of all, the cost of getting that identification. here in texas where they tried to pass a stringent rule, it's very hard to get to a dmv if you're a rural latino voter. they say, it's a free photo i.d. what they don't tell you, it costs you up to $22 to get a birth certificate in order to get that free photo i.d. one way or the other -- >> it's like a poll tax?
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>> exactly. >> it is a poll tax. >> exactly a poll tax. >> let me ask you about this -- the -- do you have a sense, mark, whether this was -- i don't know if conspiracy is the right word but concerted effort in these states and i think the democrats weren't watching the candy store when all these people got elected. were they all working together when this -- >> this was an orchestrated, planned attack. an orchestrated planned avalanche that took place. you had groups like american legislative exchange council who were behind this. you had large numbers of people who determine that it was part of the 2012 strategy to make it more difficult for people to vote. we need to understand that there have been scant cases of voter impersonation in this country, that have turned up. this is a solution looking for a problem. this is a set of legislative initiatives behind a phoney smoke screen of voter fraud. we want people to understand what it is.
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we want people to be informed. we want people to vote. >> here's congressman -- the great congressman john lewis, civil rights hero. he was talking at voter registration event in georgia today, encouraging people to fight voter suppression. he's been great on this. let's listen. >> there are forces in america today, not just in the american south, but all across our land, that is trying to make it hard and difficult for people to register and vote, for people to cast their vote. for all across america today, members of the congressional black caucus at this hour and later during the day, are doing the same thing. but we have 44 members in each congressional district. we have until what, october 9th? to get people registered. >> you know, victoria, it seems to me the worst thing that could
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come of this concerted effort of 17 states to try to close the door to americans and legitimate voters is people say no to themselves. i was at howard to the commencement, i said to the kids, don't ever say no to yourself. i'm afraid more people -- mark, they would say, this is going to be the biggest pain in the butt, too complicated, i'm not going to go this year, even if it's obama. is that a danger out there, they'll be intimidated out of voting? >> it's a danger. the irony of it is is that we're not using technological advances to automate our systems. a handful of states have used automated registration systems where i can go online and register to vote. the bulk of the states are going in retrogress of manners. this is what is most frustrating to me on this day of national voter registration. >> chris, you know, there are many of us across the nation who have campaigns and efforts. ours is called occupy the vote. we have a website that provides information that people need. we have a hot line people can go
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to at 1-866-vote-one. we need everyone that loves freedom, understands democracy and understands that voting is the foundation of democracy, to get out there and make sure people are not frustrated. >> we'll have you back, mark. we want this message out, too, almost as much as you. thank you, mark of urban league and victoria, who work with us. we'll be right back in a minute. . progresso. your new light creamy potato with bacon & cheese soup says it's 100 calories a serving. that's right. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. my world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... [ whispers ] 100 calories... say it again... [ whispers ] 100 calories... ma'am, hello? ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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let me finish with this. we've said it before and we'll say it again. the republican party should be ashamed of trying to suppress voting of african-americans. 17 states have required more documents or shut down voting opportunities. it's a multistate effort you have to be wonder is run out of the national republican committee itself. if not, they might get out there and think about condemning it. i think that will happen when hell freezes over. these are organized campaigns by republican-controlled legislatures at the state level with the single ambition to cut down on voting by african-americans and other minorities. in some cases the courts have been able to stop them. it's the old dirty scam of winning elections by keeping your rivals from getting out their vote. if you can't win the hearts and minds of voters, shut the window. come up with the latest technique to shut down their voting opportunities. the continued talk and tv ad about welfare recipients, obama being a food stamp president, the filibuster to shut down the first african-american president and the continued talk by people

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